Tasteless additions to Gandzazar monastery

VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 15th, 2011, 4:16 pm #1

...prove that the persons with the worst taste in the world are always rich "businessmen"!



http://hetq.am/eng/news/2766/
TILING OF GANDZASAR MONASTERY'S WALLS HALTED
Sona Avagyan

hetq
July 8, 2011

Hetq has been informed that the questionable tiling of the walls of
the Gandzasar Monastery in Artskah has been halted.

The re-facing of the medieval monastery's walls had stirred up a
hornet's nest of contention in Artsakh and Armenia.

The retiling had been the brainchild of Russian-Armenian businessman
Levon Hayrapetyan.

It appears that once Artsakh Primate Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan
had been informed of what was happening, he immediately returned to
Gandzasar from Yerevan.

Also see:

http://hetq.am/eng/news/2718/
Gandzasar Fiasco: Who is Responsible for Monastery Defacement?

hetq
July 7, 2011

The accompanying photo showing polished facing tiles being affixed to the outer walls of the 13th century Gandzasar Monastery in Artsakh has created a growing furor in Armenia.

The "brain" behind the move belongs to wealthy Russian-Armenian businessman and benefactor Levon Hayrapetyan who hails from Karabakh.

We dare say that concerned Armenians overseas have been shocked as well at this nonsensical defacement of our cultural and historical monuments.

The story broke when a youth group calling itself "We Will Not Remain Silent" sent this and other photos to the press. The story was quickly picked up by the papers and news sites.

Quick to react to the mounting criticism of such architectural shenanigans was Slava Sargsyan, head of the Division of Monuments Preservation and Research at the NKR Department of Tourism.

Mr. Sargsyan passed the buck to Hayrapetyan, claiming that his state agency hadn't issued any permission to resurface the monastery walls.

The youth group, at a press conference yesterday, said that it had petitioned Hayrapetyan to stop further defacement of the monument, adding that the businessman probably wasn't aware of what was actually being done in his name.

The group was able to contact Hayrapetyan by phone. The businessman told them that the walls being resurfaced were built in the 1980s and not the 13th century and that they were in need of urgent repair.

He also claimed that the tiles were from the same stone quarry used to construct the monastery itself.

The youth group says that this contradicts what Slava Sargsyan, the Artsakh agency head, stated on numerous occasions in his press interviews, i.e., that the walls also date to the 13th century.

Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Church, has refrained from commenting on the matter.

The group says that rumours circulating in Artsakh point to the falling out between Archbishop Martirosyan and Levon Hayrapetyan as the main reason for the primate's silence.

The youth group argues that Archbishop Martirosyan has a personal interest in seeing the businessman's reputation tarnished.

They say that it appears that the Artsakh Primate and other high-ranking clergy are more interested in driving the latest foreign cars and being seen with well endowed woman than following the commandments of their Christian faith.


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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 15th, 2011, 6:22 pm #2

CONSULTATIONS KICK OFF OVER RENOVATION IN GANDZASAR MONASTERY

Tert.am
08.07.11

Discussions on social networking websites over the reconstruction of
the wall in Karabakh's medieval Gandzasar Monastery have necessitated
holding discussions over the issue.

The Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said in a
statement that it started consultations on the issue with the
authorities in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the Tourism
Department at the Karabakhi government.

It also said that the results will be made public later.

The attempted renovation of the fence-wall of Gandzasar Monastery
was brought to media's attention earlier in the week.

Activists launched group on social networking website Facebook,
demanding to stop the renovation which would spoil the architectural
value of the medieval monastery.

Gandzasar is a 10-13th century Armenian monastery situated in the
Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank.



Names of reporters visiting Karabakh kept secret

armradio.am
09.07.2011 15:13

Fifty-six Armenian, Russian and American journalists are visiting the
Nagonro Kraabakh Republic to familiarize with the church-building
activities under the investment programs of Armenian benefactors
within the framework of the `Revival of Gandzasar' project.

The journalists will visit Gandzasar, Stepanakert, Shushi and the
Stepanakert Airport.

The names of Russian and American reporters are being kept secret,
taking into consideration the `perspective' of being blacklisted by
Azerbaijan.


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VirtuanAni
VirtuanAni

July 15th, 2011, 7:00 pm #3

GANDZASAR FACELIFT: VANDALISM OR RESTORATION AS TILING CONTINUES AT KARABAKH MEDIEVAL CHURCH'S FENCE?
By Gohar Abrahamyan

ArmeniaNow
12.07.11
http://www.armenianow.com/arts_and_cult ... ontroversy

The recently initiated tiling of the wall of a medieval church in
Karabakh has stirred a great controversy among the public, especially
after some images of the re-facing work were posted online.

Gandzasar or Surb Hovhannes Mkrtich (St. John the Baptist) Church is
a 13th century monastic complex situated in the village of Vank of
Nagorno-Karabakh's Martakert district.

For centuries it was considered to be a major
religious center of Armenia's eastern provinces. Today, the wall of
the church is being tiled at the initiative of and with funding from
Russia-based businessman and well-known benefactor Levon Hayrapetyan,
who is a native of Karabakh. The businessman has invested millions of
dollars in the rebuilding of war-torn Karabakh and that also included
the restoration of the monastic compound and the road leading there
years ago.

But young activists of a Facebook group called "We Won't Keep Silent"
claim the tiling of the monastic complex walls is tantamount to
destroying a historical and cultural value. Some even call it
vandalism.

State bodies in Karabakh, in particular head of the Monuments
Preservation and Study Division at the NKR Government-affiliated
Tourism Department Slava Sargsyan earlier announced that they were,
too, against the initiative because the work would harm the monastic
complex's appearance and would result it its failure to comply with
UNESCO standards -- in other words the renovations would hamper the
complex's inclusion in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.

However, the pastor of the St. John the Baptist Church in Gandzasar,
Fr. Grigor Markosyan, downplays such concerns, saying that the church
will incur no harm as a historical and cultural value.

"I believe UNESCO attaches importance to the church where under
the altar there are so many sacred objects rather than to the wall,
because here the cultural value is the church," the priest explained.

Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, the primate of the Artsakh Diocese of
the Armenian Apostolic Church, says that at the advise of His Holiness,
he had written a letter to the Artsakh Monuments Department and the
agency got in touch with Armenia and made a negative decision about
the tiling of the church walls. However, according to the archbishop,
the wall runs the risk of collapsing, so they were pressed for time
and the kind of work was a necessity and only means to save the wall.

"In fact, the church walls are not of the thirteenth century, but were
constructed later. But they were periodically dismantled and repaired.

The fence needs repairing today as well, because grass keeps growing
inside the walls, which weakens the construction and adds to the
danger of a collapse," says Archbishop Pargev Martirosyan, adding
that no particular architecture is needed for tiling and that's why
no professional group had been called in.

The executive director of the Ata Vank Les company that is carrying
out the project is Vladimir Hayrapetyan, who is a younger brother of
Levon Hayrapetyan. He insists that unless the wall that was built in
1980-84 is fortified it will collapse soon.

"When cement is mixed with sand it becomes concrete and in the 13th
century there was no cement. But here everything is made of cement,
simply there was so little cement that the concrete is getting ruined.

I even found the person who worked on this wall, he is still alive and
lives in Stepanakert," says Hayrapetyan, adding that the controversy
around the issue was stirred on purpose by those who would want to
do the work themselves.

According to Hayrapetyan, a special workshop was set up on the site to
process the Gandzasar wall stones. He said four people were currently
involved in the wall restoration work, but added that another 13
people would join when they got permission so that the work could be
finished more quickly. The estimated cost of the total wall tiling
work is $1 million.

Meanwhile, many in the Vank village also oppose the tiling of the
Church's walls.

"This wall has been there for ages and I'm against its tiling. Today
we need antiquities, we want to prove that it is Armenian, but the
Turks will see this and say that we built it only recently," one
elderly resident in the village told ArmeniaNow.

Nevertheless, despite different opinions, the work at the St. John
the Baptist Church walls in Gandzasar continues and the project is
expected to be completed by autumn.

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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 15th, 2011, 7:04 pm #4

CONSULTATIONS KICK OFF OVER RENOVATION IN GANDZASAR MONASTERY

Tert.am
08.07.11

Discussions on social networking websites over the reconstruction of
the wall in Karabakh's medieval Gandzasar Monastery have necessitated
holding discussions over the issue.

The Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said in a
statement that it started consultations on the issue with the
authorities in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the Tourism
Department at the Karabakhi government.

It also said that the results will be made public later.

The attempted renovation of the fence-wall of Gandzasar Monastery
was brought to media's attention earlier in the week.

Activists launched group on social networking website Facebook,
demanding to stop the renovation which would spoil the architectural
value of the medieval monastery.

Gandzasar is a 10-13th century Armenian monastery situated in the
Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank.



Names of reporters visiting Karabakh kept secret

armradio.am
09.07.2011 15:13

Fifty-six Armenian, Russian and American journalists are visiting the
Nagonro Kraabakh Republic to familiarize with the church-building
activities under the investment programs of Armenian benefactors
within the framework of the `Revival of Gandzasar' project.

The journalists will visit Gandzasar, Stepanakert, Shushi and the
Stepanakert Airport.

The names of Russian and American reporters are being kept secret,
taking into consideration the `perspective' of being blacklisted by
Azerbaijan.

ARMENIAN ARCHITECTS CALL TO PRESERVE GANDZASAR MONASTERY ORIGINAL LOOK

PanARMENIAN.Net
July 12, 2011 - 10:21 AMT
http://www.panarmenian.net/eng/news/74242/

PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian architects call for preserving Gandzasar
Monastery - the Armenian Notre Dame, said Stepan Nalbandyan, Deputy
Chairman of association of architects and restorers of historical
monuments.

"Gandzasar is an important historical monument, known across the globe,
and conduction of restoration works 'by a whim' without preliminary
project, scientific and methodological council is unacceptable,"
Nalbandyan told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter.

"For example, in France no one would dare touch Notre Dame without
presenting a project and decision of a methodological council.

Gandzasar is our Notre Dame, and we must protect it," he said.

The claims that coating of the fence surrounding the monastery will
strengthen it, does not square with reality, according to him.

"The coating is just an additional burden for the fence; quite other
methods should be applied for carrying out restoration works," the
expert said adding that restoration works of historic monument must
not comprise innovative interference methods.

Among variants for solution of the problems, Nalbandyan offered to
demolish the coating and to restore fence surrounding the monastery
in its past and true look.

"If not, we shall lose our historic and cultural value forever,"
the expert said.

Coating of 13 century fence surrounding Gandzasar Monastery in Nagorno
Karabakh aroused stir in Facebook and amid bloggers and art lovers.

According to Facebook poll, presently 2086 people opposed to coating
of monastery fence, with only 35 favoring the idea.

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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 17th, 2011, 2:16 pm #5

CONSULTATIONS KICK OFF OVER RENOVATION IN GANDZASAR MONASTERY

Tert.am
08.07.11

Discussions on social networking websites over the reconstruction of
the wall in Karabakh's medieval Gandzasar Monastery have necessitated
holding discussions over the issue.

The Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said in a
statement that it started consultations on the issue with the
authorities in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the Tourism
Department at the Karabakhi government.

It also said that the results will be made public later.

The attempted renovation of the fence-wall of Gandzasar Monastery
was brought to media's attention earlier in the week.

Activists launched group on social networking website Facebook,
demanding to stop the renovation which would spoil the architectural
value of the medieval monastery.

Gandzasar is a 10-13th century Armenian monastery situated in the
Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank.



Names of reporters visiting Karabakh kept secret

armradio.am
09.07.2011 15:13

Fifty-six Armenian, Russian and American journalists are visiting the
Nagonro Kraabakh Republic to familiarize with the church-building
activities under the investment programs of Armenian benefactors
within the framework of the `Revival of Gandzasar' project.

The journalists will visit Gandzasar, Stepanakert, Shushi and the
Stepanakert Airport.

The names of Russian and American reporters are being kept secret,
taking into consideration the `perspective' of being blacklisted by
Azerbaijan.

Illegal Tiles at Gandzasar Monastery Will be Removed
Sona Avagyan
Hetq, July 15 2011
http://hetq.am/eng/news/2964/

According the two top officials at the Armenian Association of Restorative Architects of Historical Monuments, the polished facing tiles recently affixed to the walls of the Gandzasar Monastery in Artsakh will be removed.

Installation of the tiles caused an uproar both in Armenia and Artsakh and was the number one issues covered in the pages of the press and on Armenian TV.

Association Vice President Stepan Nalbandyan thanked the Artsakh government's Division of Tourism and Armenia's Ministry of Culture for intervening in the matter and putting a halt to the wall re-facing.

Mr. Nalbandyan said that care must be taken when removing the tiles and the walls must eventually be reinforced in an appropriate manner.

Association President Gagik Soghomonyan noted that merely resurfacing a decaying wall made no sense and that, in any event, professional restoration demands that the same materials be used as in the original construction.

As to the intentions of Levon Hayrapetyan, the Russian-Armenian businessman who conceived the project to retile the monastery walls, Mr. Nalbandyan said that no overall plan was presented to the Artsakh government.

Oftentimes, benefactors think 'what's the harm in repairing something located in a village', Mr. Nalbandyan noted.

Mr. Soghomonyan said that according to their information the contractors never consulted with the Architectural Council in Etchmiadzin and was surprised that Artsakh Primate Barkev Martirosyan never advised them to consult with the Council.

"This was a major oversight. Had the contractors done so, the Council would have advised them regarding the proper process to follow," noted Mr. Soghomonyan.

It turns out that the work was begun without the proper authorization. It took the Artsakh Division of Tourism, in cooperation with the RA Culture Ministry, to declare that the work was inappropriate and needed to be halted.

"The crux of the protests being raised was that the work was illegal. We are trying to build a state and every benefactor, with a degree of self-respect, must follow the rules and regulations that exist. They have to seek out the experts in this field before doing anything. They just can't make decisions on their own," noted Gagik Soghomonyan.

According to reports appearing on the internet, Levon Hayrapetyan had planned to spend $1.5 million on the retiling of Gandzasar's walls.

Gagik Soghomonyan, who drafted a renovation project for the entire monastery in 1989 for the Soviet Union's Ministry of Culture, says that according to his draft the reinforcing of the walls could be done for five times less.


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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 17th, 2011, 8:24 pm #6

CONSULTATIONS KICK OFF OVER RENOVATION IN GANDZASAR MONASTERY

Tert.am
08.07.11

Discussions on social networking websites over the reconstruction of
the wall in Karabakh's medieval Gandzasar Monastery have necessitated
holding discussions over the issue.

The Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said in a
statement that it started consultations on the issue with the
authorities in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the Tourism
Department at the Karabakhi government.

It also said that the results will be made public later.

The attempted renovation of the fence-wall of Gandzasar Monastery
was brought to media's attention earlier in the week.

Activists launched group on social networking website Facebook,
demanding to stop the renovation which would spoil the architectural
value of the medieval monastery.

Gandzasar is a 10-13th century Armenian monastery situated in the
Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank.



Names of reporters visiting Karabakh kept secret

armradio.am
09.07.2011 15:13

Fifty-six Armenian, Russian and American journalists are visiting the
Nagonro Kraabakh Republic to familiarize with the church-building
activities under the investment programs of Armenian benefactors
within the framework of the `Revival of Gandzasar' project.

The journalists will visit Gandzasar, Stepanakert, Shushi and the
Stepanakert Airport.

The names of Russian and American reporters are being kept secret,
taking into consideration the `perspective' of being blacklisted by
Azerbaijan.

KARAPETYAN: UNESCO TO REFUSE INCLUDING GANDZASAR IN ITS LIST

Aysor.am
Wednesday,July 13

We already wrote about the restoration of Gandzasar in a modern style,
as an example pointing to Noravank around which cafes are built,
and new gates are installed, because of which the temple was not
included in the list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage.

Today on the meeting with journalists expert of Armenian architecture
Samvel Karapetyan expressed the viewpoint that Gandzasar cannot be
included in the UNESCO list as well.

"In the case of Noravank after seeing this gate the UNESCO experts
didn't even approach the temple. I am sure that the same thing will
happen with Gandzasar. By a similar restoration of the walls around the
church, the initiators simply put a cross on it," said S. Karapetyan.

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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 17th, 2011, 8:43 pm #7

...prove that the persons with the worst taste in the world are always rich "businessmen"!



http://hetq.am/eng/news/2766/
TILING OF GANDZASAR MONASTERY'S WALLS HALTED
Sona Avagyan

hetq
July 8, 2011

Hetq has been informed that the questionable tiling of the walls of
the Gandzasar Monastery in Artskah has been halted.

The re-facing of the medieval monastery's walls had stirred up a
hornet's nest of contention in Artsakh and Armenia.

The retiling had been the brainchild of Russian-Armenian businessman
Levon Hayrapetyan.

It appears that once Artsakh Primate Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan
had been informed of what was happening, he immediately returned to
Gandzasar from Yerevan.

Also see:

http://hetq.am/eng/news/2718/
Gandzasar Fiasco: Who is Responsible for Monastery Defacement?

hetq
July 7, 2011

The accompanying photo showing polished facing tiles being affixed to the outer walls of the 13th century Gandzasar Monastery in Artsakh has created a growing furor in Armenia.

The "brain" behind the move belongs to wealthy Russian-Armenian businessman and benefactor Levon Hayrapetyan who hails from Karabakh.

We dare say that concerned Armenians overseas have been shocked as well at this nonsensical defacement of our cultural and historical monuments.

The story broke when a youth group calling itself "We Will Not Remain Silent" sent this and other photos to the press. The story was quickly picked up by the papers and news sites.

Quick to react to the mounting criticism of such architectural shenanigans was Slava Sargsyan, head of the Division of Monuments Preservation and Research at the NKR Department of Tourism.

Mr. Sargsyan passed the buck to Hayrapetyan, claiming that his state agency hadn't issued any permission to resurface the monastery walls.

The youth group, at a press conference yesterday, said that it had petitioned Hayrapetyan to stop further defacement of the monument, adding that the businessman probably wasn't aware of what was actually being done in his name.

The group was able to contact Hayrapetyan by phone. The businessman told them that the walls being resurfaced were built in the 1980s and not the 13th century and that they were in need of urgent repair.

He also claimed that the tiles were from the same stone quarry used to construct the monastery itself.

The youth group says that this contradicts what Slava Sargsyan, the Artsakh agency head, stated on numerous occasions in his press interviews, i.e., that the walls also date to the 13th century.

Archbishop Barkev Martirosyan, Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Church, has refrained from commenting on the matter.

The group says that rumours circulating in Artsakh point to the falling out between Archbishop Martirosyan and Levon Hayrapetyan as the main reason for the primate's silence.

The youth group argues that Archbishop Martirosyan has a personal interest in seeing the businessman's reputation tarnished.

They say that it appears that the Artsakh Primate and other high-ranking clergy are more interested in driving the latest foreign cars and being seen with well endowed woman than following the commandments of their Christian faith.

Can nobody in Armenia stand up to the Armenian Church and protect the nation's historic monuments?

Until this "reconstruction", the Surp Astvatsatsin church was an important early (9th century) church. It is described as a "hall-shaped church with archaic cupola" in Donabedian's "Armenian Art" - photos of the exterior suggest to me that it is rather like the Oghuzlu church in Turkey.

NORATUS'S SURB ASTVATSATSIN CHURCH BEING RECONSTRUCTED

ARMENPRESS
JULY 13, 2011
GAVAR

The reconstruction works of Surb Astvatsatsin Church of Noratus,
Gegharkunik Marz started two weeks ago.

According to Murad Harutyunyan, head of the community of Noratus,
the "South Caucasus Railways" CJSC provided 400 million AMD for
the completion of the church's reconstruction. The reconstruction
is implemented by the RA Culture Ministry's Agency of Monument
Conservation and Restoration.

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VirtualAni
VirtualAni

July 17th, 2011, 8:54 pm #8

CONSULTATIONS KICK OFF OVER RENOVATION IN GANDZASAR MONASTERY

Tert.am
08.07.11

Discussions on social networking websites over the reconstruction of
the wall in Karabakh's medieval Gandzasar Monastery have necessitated
holding discussions over the issue.

The Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church said in a
statement that it started consultations on the issue with the
authorities in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh and the Tourism
Department at the Karabakhi government.

It also said that the results will be made public later.

The attempted renovation of the fence-wall of Gandzasar Monastery
was brought to media's attention earlier in the week.

Activists launched group on social networking website Facebook,
demanding to stop the renovation which would spoil the architectural
value of the medieval monastery.

Gandzasar is a 10-13th century Armenian monastery situated in the
Martakert region of Nagorno-Karabakh, near the village of Vank.



Names of reporters visiting Karabakh kept secret

armradio.am
09.07.2011 15:13

Fifty-six Armenian, Russian and American journalists are visiting the
Nagonro Kraabakh Republic to familiarize with the church-building
activities under the investment programs of Armenian benefactors
within the framework of the `Revival of Gandzasar' project.

The journalists will visit Gandzasar, Stepanakert, Shushi and the
Stepanakert Airport.

The names of Russian and American reporters are being kept secret,
taking into consideration the `perspective' of being blacklisted by
Azerbaijan.

Welcome words, and I hope this explicit criticism of the Church is not a one-off from RAA.

IGNORANT PATRIOTS

Story from Lragir.am News:
http://www.lragir.am/engsrc/society22594.html
Published: 14:42:30 - 13/07/2011

Samvel Karapetyan, archeologist, dwelled on the ongoing project of
facing the wall surrounding Gandzasar Monastery in NKR, in a news
conference on July 13. He says it's a criminal act against a historical
and cultural monument and the cause of this is ignorant patriotism.

Samvel Karapetyan says it would be possible to reinforce the wall
around Gandzasar with lime mortar which was used in Armenia in the
past. As to the recent statement by Archbishop Pargev of Artsakh
Diocese that the wall of the Holy See was reconstructed in a similar
way, Samvel Karapetyan says the clergy can't figure out anything, all
they want is to sit comfortably in their monasteries, meanwhile such
projects must involve architects and must comply with international
standards accepted for similar cases.


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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 16th, 2012, 9:56 pm #9

Can nobody in Armenia stand up to the Armenian Church and protect the nation's historic monuments?

Until this "reconstruction", the Surp Astvatsatsin church was an important early (9th century) church. It is described as a "hall-shaped church with archaic cupola" in Donabedian's "Armenian Art" - photos of the exterior suggest to me that it is rather like the Oghuzlu church in Turkey.

NORATUS'S SURB ASTVATSATSIN CHURCH BEING RECONSTRUCTED

ARMENPRESS
JULY 13, 2011
GAVAR

The reconstruction works of Surb Astvatsatsin Church of Noratus,
Gegharkunik Marz started two weeks ago.

According to Murad Harutyunyan, head of the community of Noratus,
the "South Caucasus Railways" CJSC provided 400 million AMD for
the completion of the church's reconstruction. The reconstruction
is implemented by the RA Culture Ministry's Agency of Monument
Conservation and Restoration.
Looks more like a Shirakawan:
http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Astvat ... in_Noratus
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Anonymous
Anonymous

September 16th, 2012, 10:07 pm #10

Also- seems not so recent - what the hell is that addition to the corner of the narthex connecting with main church? like a mini-house on corner!

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